"Pleasing set . . . The saxophonist is great . . . no wasted notes
. . . Compelling music . . . This is fine, satisfying stuff."
Jason Bivins -- Cadence
"Agile minds . . . O'Dell is an open, lyrical player who can unfurl
a wide range of ideas at a dizzying pace . . . appealing atmosphere .
. . flows beautifully . . . O'Dell designs hypnotic concepts that capture
the imagination . . . indelible spirit."
Jerry D'Souza -- All About Jazz
"This recording confirms the hopes we had placed on [O'Dell] .
. . Probing excursions . . . On soprano, [O'Dell] skillfully avoids the
saccharine tone that mars too many saxophonists . . . fiery dialogues
. . . contemplative and lyrical communions . . . seamless and breezy
. . . solid outing."
Alain Drouot -- Chicago Jazz Institute
"Lovely chamber jazz . . . They swing, experiment, solo comfortably,
swing some more and interpret with creative passion . . . O'Dell soars
lyrically with alto and soprano melodic sketches. Carrying a blues foundation
and providing plenty of room for spontaneity, the program connects intuitively
with the audience . . . exotic flavors . . . They create impressions that let their audience travel through time and space."
Jim Santella -- All About Jazz
"Quality of music is excellent . . . "Rise and Fall" is
a beautiful ballad that displays both Tim O'Dell's wonderful tone on
soprano sax and Aoki's big, fat bass notes . . . unhurried duo musical
communication . . . good soloing by the horns and swinging bass lines
. . . "Old Growth" is stunningly beautiful."
Francis Lo Kee -- All About Jazz New York
"Unusual and well crafted . . . memorable . . . O'Dell and Aoki
in top-notch form . . . creative sounds . . . remarkable . . . smooth,
mellow approach which is enjoyable. . . "Ancient Pines Suite" is intense in scope and presentation,
and there is much good to say about it, and its thematic structure. [Ancient
Pines Suite] is a strong entry for anywhere and anytime . . . Wide base
of appeal . . . a fine example of what can be creatively expressed .
. . wide range and a wide scope, and it entertains . . . straight-ahead
stylings add to its brilliance. Highly recommended jazz fusion!"
Lee Prosser -- Jazz Review.com
"O'Dell has a rich timbre and consistent vision . . . compelling
Marc Masters --Jazz Times
"Fans of Maria Schneider's big band work will enjoy O'Dell's arrangements . . . reminiscent of Gil Evans, especially at times in the coloring . . . solid charts that clearly call on tradition . . . modern elements infused, like funky bass on "Adverse Side Effects," fusionesque electric guitar by Steve Grismore on "Cirrus" and "Retrospection" . . . The interesting works are well-played by this ensemble."
-- Chicago Sound.com
". . . talented saxophonist . . . it would be interesting to hear Tim O'Dell's music interpreted by a major orchestra."
-- Jazz Times
"O’Dell’s compositions are thickly scored and rich in extended harmonies with close chordal relationships, such as those heard in the work of Thad Jones . . . shifting kaleidoscopic, quasi-psychedelic rhythms . . . an amalgamation of thoughtfully serious compositions for the modern big band that many times play on concepts usually utilized in classical music: large formal structures, the development of rhythmic motives, large timbral palettes and advanced harmonic configurations."
-- Jazz Review.com
"Saxophonist Tim O'Dell is passionate about large ensembles . . . unusual big band program includes free jazz, fusion and bebop . . . O'Dell pushes the envelope using the large ensemble to play multiple layers of jazz-fusion on "Epilogue Groove." The reflective vibe of "Retrospection" has an exotic character and the brass harmonies highlight "Mr. ID." Nice work!"
Oscar Groomes -- O's Place, Jazz.com
"A young, new master of the saxophone has arrived, and his name
is Tim O'Dell . . . Before My Life is what contemporary jazz is all about
and is a showcase of perfect performances."
Lee Prosser -- Jazz Review
" . . . Unexpectedly grand . . ."
Lloyd Sachs -- Chicago Sun Times
"Elton Dean. Tim Berne. Tim O'Dell. Welcome to the exclusive club of outstanding sax players/composers/improvisers . . . a perfect album . . . This disc is a great blend of composition and improvisation and it swings! . . . Before My Life has a uniqueness of vision. O'Dell is the composer of Chicago." -- Beyond Coltrane
" . . . A thinking man's player and composer . . ."
Owen Cordle -- JazzTimes
"This is a really fine recording, generous in terms of playing,
with considered compositions and a ton of spirit."
Jason Bivins -- Cadence
" . . . Meditating on alto, Tim sounds like 'Trane did on Central
Park West . . ."
John Barrett -- Jazz USA
"This is the sound of . . . expanding American art."
James Nichols -- All About Jazz
" . . . A fine new voice on alto . . . loose and swinging and broadly
expressive . . ."
Stuart Broomer -- Cadence
"A trio of saxophone, bass and drums can opt for raw power or the
potential for clarity that inheres in the form. This one opts for clarity,
for spare rhythm in support of O'Dell's brisk linearity. The approach
is rewarding on "Slow" and "All Things" when O'Dell's
repeating phrases and strongly modal lines seem to fuse with Pavkovic and Aoki. O'Dell is a conscientious
craftsman, a disciplined player with a strong sense of construction in
his solos . . ."
Stuart Broomer -- Cadence